Whitney França interacts with a large number of students, faculty and staff across campus every semester as the Director of OU’s Office of Education Abroad. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Orality Studies from Oklahoma Baptist University and a post graduate certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) from Oklahoma State University. She has spent a great deal of time studying abroad in and visiting Brazil, and also speaks Brazilian Portuguese fluently. A fan of traveling, her list of visited places includes Asia, Europe and Latin America. So, what else is there to know about Whitney? We did a quick little Q&A with her to find out!
Q: How long have you been at OU?
A: I’ve been at OU for 3.5 years!
Q: What does your job involve?
A: I work with the amazing Education Abroad staff, manage exchange partner agreements for study abroad, continue to develop more diverse study abroad options for OU students, etc.
Q: What makes you passionate about your job?
A: Seeing the impact an international experience leaves on a student and knowing that they are forever changed by their opportunity to see the world from a new perspective.
Q: How did you get into working in higher education, particularly international studies?
A: I started as a student worker and ESL tutor in an international office at Oklahoma Baptist University. My boss went on maternity leave and decided not to come back as I was graduating. I fell right into my international education career. ☺
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: My favorite part is definitely the people I work with every day. We are dedicated to helping students achieve their goals of going abroad, and being around passionate, caring co-workers inspires me to keep striving to give students our best.
Q: When you are not working, what do you like to do for fun?
A: I really enjoy quiet nights at home with friends. Good conversation and good food always make for a good time.
Q: What is a hobby you like to do?
A: My favorite hobby is probably home projects. I love a good home décor craft and making my home a cozy, relaxing place for all.
Q: Do you have a fave food?
A: My favorite food – that’s a big question! I love Ice cream and all things vanilla if I need something sweet. I would also never pass up a trip to Campus Corner’s Coriander Café. ☺
Q: What is a song that you like?
A: Songs are hard to choose from, but basically anything from Caetano Veloso or United Pursuit is normally playing around my house these days
Q: Any words of wisdom and guidance you want to share with others?
A: I think there is great beauty and deep meaning in simplicity. For that reason, I think some of my favorite advice is simple. 1. Breathe – If we just take a moment to breathe and take things into perspective we will make it. 2. Worry does not add a day to our lives – we all have a limited amount of time on this earth. Living with that perspective will allow us to truly live, not just survive.
Next time you see Whitney around campus or in the halls, be sure to say hey! And if you’re interested in studying abroad, she and her team can definitely help you out!